Creative Presentations Demonstrate Link Between Health and Sustainability
WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hospitals and other members of the health care sector will be marking Earth Day 2011 with a wide variety of events showcasing their efforts to develop sustainable operations and reduce their environmental footprint. From making a rap video to staging water tasting and other educational games, those engaged in sustainable health care are finding fun and creative ways to educate their peers and their communities about their successes in lessening their impact on the environment. Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) have collected and posted descriptions and links to dozens of these Earth Day celebration events on the Practice Greenhealth website, www.practicegreenhealth.org/earthday.
"It is wonderful that hospitals give this time to staff to share with their peers and the community the success stories about how they are reducing the hospital's impact on the environment," stated Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of Practice Greenhealth. "These events are a great way of emphasizing the connection between health and the environment, and the importance of keeping the planet healthy so it can support healthy people."
Staff at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Greenville, SC, developed a rap video "Let's Make Every Day an Earth Day" to mark their induction into the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Leadership Circle, the organization's top award, which honors facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. The video was debuted in early April at CleanMed, the nation's oldest and most influential conference on healthcare sustainability, where the Practice Greenhealth awards are bestowed.
Other hospitals have a number of events scheduled, some of which last the entire week. From environmental movie screenings, to planting herb gardens for the hospital kitchen to use, making a greenhouse of recycled materials, to issuing reusable coffee cups to all staff, hospitals are using creative ways to celebrate Earth Day. Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth have also developed new materials with an Earth Day focus, including two new Power Point presentations on climate change for hospitals and others to use to incorporate into Earth Day events or to use during any presentation opportunity. In addition, the two organizations held webinars using the Power Points, and those webinars have also been recorded and are posted on the websites for others to use.
Earth Day is an important opportunity to highlight the links that are increasingly being found between environment and health. Pollutants, toxins, and emissions are associated with a number of chronic and acute health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases. With round-the-clock operations, large waste streams, the operation of food services, and the use of chemicals and pharmaceutical agents, hospitals have a large environmental footprint.
"It is exciting that so many hospitals and its supporting business community are embracing sustainable health care," stated Gary Cohen, president and co-founder of Health Care Without Harm. "Hospitals know that prevention is the best way to keep people healthy, and their engagement in sustainability is really an expression of their mission to be responsible for their role in the health of the communities they serve."
About Practice Greenhealth
Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment. For more information on Practice Greenhealth, healthy initiatives, current trends, news and views, and other links to earth-friendly organizations, visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.
About Health Care Without Harm
HCWH is an international coalition of more than 430 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the healthcare industry worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. For more information on HCWH, see www.noharm.org.
SOURCE Health Care Without Harm